Packaging Innovation Mels, based in Temse, recently invested in a hybrid Anapurna printing solution from Agfa.
Manager Ilke Mels explains: “By combining the Anapurna with our cutting solution, we can now also do small productions and sampling completely in-house. Ease of use, versatility and, above all, the excellent print quality were decisive.”
With Ilke Mels and husband Filip Van Steirteghem, the second generation is today at the head of Mels Verpakkingsinnovatie, which was founded in 1978. The company has been a specialist in high-quality packaging for all kinds of products for many years, but it is also the right place for displays and placards. Mels often works as a subcontractor for printing and graphic companies that do not have the necessary packaging expertise themselves, yet the company also develops concepts and products on behalf of companies, industry, communication agencies and e-commerce providers.
The advantage of in-house digital print production
The digital printing of limited editions is not new to Mels, but until recently these assignments were outsourced. Filip Van Steirteghem says: “It always went well, but the big advantage of doing it in-house lies mainly in the flexibility, time savings and the possibility to switch gears more quickly. It also gives us the freedom to experiment and test new ideas and concepts. The Anapurna will therefore be an important asset in future product developments.”
“The Anapurna gives us the freedom to experiment and test new ideas and concepts”
Print quality comparable to offset
Since Mels mainly specializes in high-quality packaging, it was only logical that the print quality of a digital printing solution should be of the same level. Ilke Mels says: “Print quality is extremely important to us, because orders are increasingly often a mix of different products. If you have a packaging printed in offset because of the circulation or appearance, then a digitally printed display or POS material within the same order must look just as good. With the Anapurna this is perfectly possible and we can now also offer this as an extra service. The ability to print white was a must, because it makes almost any substrate printable.”
“The print quality of the Anapurna matches that of offset printing: very important for mixed orders”
User-friendly Asanti software
In addition to excellent print quality, ease of use and easy integration with the existing cutting solution was also an important criterion in the decision-making process. Filip: “Agfa has also met all our expectations there, because working with the Asanti software is very intuitive and both our operators mastered it in no time. Especially the connection with our cutting solution, which we thought was going to be complex, turned out to be a non-issue. This simple operation also makes the platform very accessible for both production and trying out new ideas and products.”
“The fact that we can now print directly on cardboard – with environmentally friendly inks and LED lamps – makes us faster and more energy efficient”
Less energy and raw materials
Mels also profiles itself as a sustainable company and the purchase of the Anapurna fits perfectly within this philosophy. Ilke: “We process a lot of cardboard and that is of course a very rewarding product, because it is 100% recyclable and reusable, but we also see room for improvement there. Now we can digitally print the cardboard directly with the Anapurna in small quantities, so that the gluing process or lamination is avoided. This is not only faster, but also uses fewer raw materials and energy. Combine this with the GREENGUARD Gold Certified inks and the energy-efficient LED-UV technology of the Anapurna and you know that this investment benefits the environment. That gives us a good feeling and I am sure our customers appreciate that too.”